Music interview: Leeds singer-songwriter Rob Doherty on ‘Council Made’

Rob Doherty
Rob Doherty
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Since the demise of his band Sound of Sirens Rob Doherty has been carving a niche as a singer-songwriter.

“I’ve been doing all sorts,” he says. “I’ve released a few singles. I’ve had a couple of my solo songs played by Alan Raw on BBC Introducing and I’ve been working on my own stuff. Just lately it’s been getting a little more exciting.”

That excitement stems from a video Doherty posted on the Council Estate Facebook page of himself and friend playing his song Council Made. The track – based on personal experiences of growing up on a council estate in Gipton (“Kind of tongue in cheek, not too serious”) – proved so popular, Doherty’s video was shared on another Facebook page, Council Estate Life, which has more than 300,000 likes on the social media platform.

“It’s been on for just over a month and it’s had over 30,000 views, which is pretty cool,” he says.

Doherty remembers life in Gipton being “tough – my parents didn’t have a lot of money – but we lived to our means and we got by”.

“We didn’t have like today where all the kids have got game consoles and every time they nip out round the corner they’ve got to have a tenner of 20 quid. We just had to contend with throwing stones and kicking footballs around, just being outside and enjoying life. It was completely different and I kind of wish it was like that now. I think kids are too locked into the internet. There’s kids I know that won’t come away from their tablet or their laptop for more than an hour.”

We just had to contend with throwing stones and kicking footballs around, just being outside and enjoying life.

Rob Doherty

On Saturday Doherty plays at Fox Fest at The Stork Tavern, Bolton on a bill headlined by The Jade Assembly and also featuring singer/guitarist Connor Peploe and the bands The Case and Ravellas, Saytr Play, Plastic House, Lyerr and Clear Break.

“It’s for the Brain Tumour Charity,” Doherty says. “There’s a guy I know called ‘Pud’ – his real name was Andrew Leigh – he recently died from a brain tumour at the age of 50 and the support he got from all his friends has just gone mental, he’s had flags flying for him all around the world. He was a massive Bolton Wanderers supporter. He was a really well liked bloke. I’m pleased to be doing something for the Brain Tumour Charity to put my bit in.”

Doherty has also been collaborating with the trance producer Paul Ainscough – aka Nebula 66. “We’ve worked on a couple of things together which we’re going to be putting into production soon. We’re hoping to put an EP out.”

For Doherty it’s a chance to “mix it up”. “I’m still going to be doing my acoustic stuff but if I do something a bit trancey it’ll be interesting to see how it goes down in clubs. We’ve been mates for years but we’ve never actually worked on a track.”

Council Made is due out as single in September. To hear more of Doherty’s music visit or his Twitter account @iamrobdoherty